As spring breaks and the constraints of the pandemic start to recede, many organisations are returning to their investment ambitions, to grow and expand their business operations. However, the payment ecosystem remains complex due to security and compliance regulation. So, does payment by its very nature hold business innovation and expansion back? Or is there a secret formula to support business growth?
We spoke to Simon Fairbairn, Head of Professional Services in EMEA, to find out how successful companies in the payments industry forge a path to success.
Let’s start at the beginning: why does the payment ecosystem make expansion so difficult?
When viewed from afar, the glinting spires of Europe with its mature democracies and developed economies create a compelling appetite to land and expand. But little does the unwary and intrepid business understand the complexities of dealing in the European payments market.
Despite the best efforts of the European Union, it simply isn’t a single, homogenous entity that lends itself well to seamless market entry and rapid expansion. It’s a multi country, complex landscape of infinite variety; highly localised, fragmented and hampered by different security and compliance demands.
What then is the magic recipe to overcome complexity in the world of payment?
For me, to gain critical insight and assistance, the recipe is formed in three parts:
- Be prepared to listen and challenge - it’s at the point where ambition meets expertise that the best choices can be made. Be clear with your customers on what they face, both the opportunities and challenges that may lie ahead and really stress the critical points they need to appreciate.
- Preparation is everything - A little preparation and up-front investment can go a long way. Ambition often demands action and pace but sometimes the opposite can be key and taking the time to invest in a better understanding of the landscape will reward you with a greater yield down the line.
- Walk in your customer’s shoes - go the extra mile by taking the time to understand what it is they want, what they need and invest wholeheartedly in helping them realise their ambitions.
Putting this into practice often starts with an open discovery, developing an understanding of what is wanted, what is needed, and through this process developing knowledge and understanding of what may lie ahead.
Would Ingenico be able to play the role of catalyst in this recipe?
Often, partnering with a large incumbent participant in these markets is key, but even this may not be enough as they too can suffer from the very same fragmentation, becoming shaped by the markets they serve.
Recognising this challenge, Ingenico provides simpler access points and support to companies wishing to expand, providing the ability to enter one door and offer access to many different locations. With a worldwide network of account managers, many of whom operate cross-border, and a common product and solution set, Ingenico has tried to make the journey easier, quicker, and ultimately, more productive.
What further differentiates Ingenico though, is the investment in its Professional Services organisation and the pathfinder role it can play in helping customers get their bearings and reach their destination. Accessing market insight and local knowledge can be a real critical advantage when making investment decisions that can carry significant value and risk.
In some quarters, professional services can be viewed simply as a paid for implementation service, a means to get things done for a fee.
But at Ingenico, we focus on our customers and the delivery of exceptional outcomes. If we can help harness our unique insight and expertise, our geographic reach and offer the right support skills, then we can help our customers to realise their ambitions.
What is the most fundamental factor to succeed in growth collaboration?
Mutual sharing. This is key to ensuring the best choices are made, the path of least resistance is found and the plan on paper is converted from ambition to impact. After all, once the plan is clear, the challenges become about mobilising resources on both sides to understand the strategy, the support needed, and the actions required.
If ever there was a moral, then it’s to play the long game and support your customers wholeheartedly in helping them to achieve their goals, whatever the state of play you have to share.
Then the success of your customers can more readily become your success too.